Licence to builder: Haryana officials under HC scanner

Haryana government officials are under scanner for granting licence to a builder for construction purposes even before the builder had proved that he was the owner or the title holder of the said land.

The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Tuesday took suo motu cognizance of the matter and treated the same as a public interest litigation. A division bench headed by Justice Jasbir Singh has placed the matter for orders before the Chief Justice.

The directions were passed on a petition filed by a Delhi-based builder, who had challenged the licence granted by Haryana's town and country planning department to a builder giant. The licence, as alleged by the petitioner, was granted by Haryana officials when the builder was not even the owner of the said land.

While the licence was granted on February 4, 2008, the builder had allegedly sold the land to two companies in 2007. Later, having realised that it was not the owner of the land, the builder obtained clearance from the Haryana government and patwari to prove that it (builder) was in possession of the land. The prime land — over seven acres — is located in Gurgaon's Sector 65.

The development assumes significance since Haryana's district attorney (DA) department had clearly stated that it was a fraudulent deal and an FIR should be registered into it.

According to the builder, the two companies to which it had sold the land, were its sister concerns.

After the "fraud" was detected, these two companies filed a suit before a lower court in Haryana and got a "collusive decree" by getting the sale deed cancelled. With this, the ownership of the land was again vested with the builder.

Last year, the builder transferred the licence in the name of a US-based company.

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